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Tenant wanted ransom for the man he killed

A MAN admitted killing his landlord yesterday after planning to kidnap him and hold him to ransom.

Li Zhaolin, 20, a farmer from Shandong Province, told Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court he had lost his job and needed money. His landlord had a number of rooms to rent and appeared to be well off.

Fellow villager Yue Zengqiao, 21, has been charged with destroying evidence by helping bury the victim's body.

Li pleaded guilty at yesterday's hearing while Yue said he had been forced at knifepoint to help bury the body.

Li, a migrant worker, rented a room in Pudong's Gaoqiao Town from Jin Chengyu early last year and lived there with his girlfriend.

To get money after he lost his job, he decided to kidnap his landlord, Li told the court.

On September 27, 2008, Li asked Jin to come to his rented room with the excuse there was something wrong with the electric meter.

Li stabbed Jin in the chest with a knife while Jin was checking the meter. He died from a massive hemorrhage, prosecutors said.

Li then sent a letter to Jin's family, saying Jin was under his control and demanded 40,000 yuan (US$5,848) ransom. Li threatened to kill Jin's son if they went to the police, prosecutors said.

"I had planned to kill Jin no matter whether I could get the ransom or not because he knew me.

"If Jin was released, he would tell police who was the kidnapper and I would be caught immediately," Li told the court.

Li called Yue after Jin died and told him about the killing.

The two then took Jin's body to a green belt near the Outer Ring Road early the next day and buried the body, the court heard. Yue said he had tried to refuse but Li had threatened him with the knife.

Despite the threat to Jin's son, his family called the police and the pair were arrested.

The court didn't announce a verdict.


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